Godspeed! : Do you say that?

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Englishmypassion

Senior Member
India - Hindi
Dear, Forum,
Yesterday, I came across the word "godspeed", used by a boss to wish good luck to one of his subordinates leaving the organization. The mail ended with "Godspeed!"
I looked it up in the OED, which labels it dated, and I guess it's an AE usage. Do you still use/hear the word? Did you yourself use/hear it in the past?



Thanks a million.
 
  • Englishmypassion

    Senior Member
    India - Hindi
    Well, an Indian boss said that very seriously in his email just yesterday.:D

    I'm relieved to know that, eb, because I didn't know the word. Thank you very much.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Was the employee going on a journey, or just leaving the organisation?

    I find it even more unusual to use "Godspeed" if he wasn't planning on a journey. I can imagine someone of a religious bent saying it to me maybe if I were setting off on a long and hazardous trip (to the North Pole, perhaps:D).
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I like more unusual words, and so I have to confess to using it. I know it is old fashioned, but I like to use it as a kind of blessing. It needn't be confined to a journey ('speed' means 'success', as in 'More haste, less speed'), and the OED gives a quotation from 2007:

    2007 Philadelphia Daily News (Nexis) 21 Nov. 4 Negotiations generally close out with a godspeed and good luck.
    Did you consult the OED or some other Oxford Dictionary? The online OED doesn't label it as dated.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Ah, that's Oxford Dictionaries, rather than the OED, which is a subscription-only site.
     

    Englishmypassion

    Senior Member
    India - Hindi
    But we don't have to subscribe to that here in India -- it's available for all to use online. Probably they know you are quite rich and that Indians really need a subsidy. :)
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    You're talking about Oxford Dictionaries. I'm talking about the OED, based on a 20-volume dictionary. My university subscribes to it, which is why I get access to it.
     

    pob14

    Senior Member
    American English
    I don't suppose anyone's seriously said that in two hundred years.
    Well, the moon launch was a while ago, if not quite 200 years:
    As the powerful rocket thundered away toward the Moon, the last words they heard from Launch Control were: "Good luck and Godspeed."
    Probably because of this, I associate the word with very important moments. I've never used it seriously.
     

    francoe

    Member
    Argentina - Español
    Actually, on El Camino, A Breaking Bad Movie, when Ed leaves Jesse Pikman in Alaska says: "godspeed to you".
     

    Roxxxannne

    Senior Member
    American English (New England and NYC)
    Well, the moon launch was a while ago, if not quite 200 years:

    Probably because of this, I associate the word with very important moments. I've never used it seriously.
    Which is exactly why I wouldn't say "Godspeed!" to someone who is about to go on a relatively mundane trip.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    It comes up in some well-known songs, such as

    'Unchained melody': I need your love, Godspeed your love to me
    'Lara's Theme'/'Somewhere, my love' (Dr Zhivago): Lara, my own, think of me now and then; Godspeed, my love, till you are mine again.
     

    Emma Neve

    Senior Member
    Italian
    That expression was used in a notorious tweet (in 2018 I guess) by Sarah Jessica Parker:
    "Dearest Kim, my love and condolences to you and yours and Godspeed to your beloved brother."
    Kim Cattrall did not take that very well!
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    It seems to have been adopted by NASA as the thing to say. I've just heard three different people use it in the hour before the launch of Crew Dragon.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    There are 490 results in the COCA database, some referring to the band, but not too many. Most seem to use it in the sense of good luck. Quite a few others are references to someone who has died as a way to say goodbye.

    I don't think it's dead here.
     

    Roxxxannne

    Senior Member
    American English (New England and NYC)
    I think NASA has used it in the past, not just today. At least it sounded perfectly ordinary to me; I only noticed it once, though. I don't remember hearing it said in the past by anyone other than NASA or TV announcers on the occasion of astronauts departing for space.
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Thinking about it, the last time I was in the US a good friend of mine (originally from Columbus, Ohio) wished us 'Godspeed' when she took us to the airport. It struck me (as Brit) as charming but old-fashioned.
     

    LVRBC

    Senior Member
    English-US, standard and medical
    My guess, and this is only a guess, is that in NASA situations they are sort of border-lining: "See we, can talk about God in spite of the fact that the US Constitution separates church and state." It's the "Don't say happy holidays, say merry Christmas" crowd.
     
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